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Which engine ?

I am having a 58 ft narrowboat built in the spring & have a choice of engine. Are there engine reviews available comparing reliability, maintenance schedules etc ?

Asked by: Steve McPherson  | 12.12pm, Sunday 3 October


WW says:

WW does not carry out reviews of engines because it is difficult to devise tests that make a fair comparison between one and another.
The present engine market is dominated by units based on Japanese blocks which all perform pretty well. They vary mainly in the sound they make and the number features, like twin alternators and twin thermostats, that are included in the package. And, of course, the longer the warranty period, the more peace of mind you have. Canal cruising requires an engine with a high torque value so look out for that. Also, a larger flywheel will ensure smoother running.
A 35hp to 40hp engine should be suitable for you unless you plan to spend a lot of time on rivers in which case it might be worth going for 45hp to 50hp.
A comprehensive list of all the currently available engines is included in the Waterways World Annual available though this website at �£5.99. Click the 'shop' option.
The new Inland Boatowner's Book (also available via 'shop')) has chapters on 'Engine installation and 'Who is who in modern engines' which should answer many of your questions.

Graham Booth  | 4.49PM, Monday 4 October

Most modern boat engines should be serviced once a year. Before the boat is laid up for winter is the best time as it prevents damage from acidic engine oil in the often damp engine compartments. Changing the oil, the oil, air, and fuel filters are the normal servicing requirements.

Rupert Smedley  | 1.35PM, Monday 8 November

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